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Best Memorial Day Recipes

Plan your weekend menu with this collection of the 35 Best Memorial Day Recipes. This roundup features everything from veggie dip and burgers, chicken and seafood to sumptuous salads and sides. Sweet desserts are included to inspire you and of course, sweet tea to wash it all down. These recipes are sure to be a hit at any Memorial Day gathering, bringing friends and family together to enjoy good food and good company.


Best Memorial Day Recipes that are Easy to Make

Holiday weekends are as much a part of summer as lemonade and sunshine. Memorial Day marks the unofficial start of summer in the United States, and it’s often celebrated with outdoor gatherings, barbecues, and picnics. Here are some classic and Best Memorial Day recipes that are perfect for such an occasions Links to the recipes above each image!

Planning the BEST Memorial Day Recipes for a Barbecue

When hosting a backyard barbecue for friends and family, it’s key to prepare as many dishes as possible in advance and this mouthwatering collection of 35 Best Memorial Day Recipes is sure to inspire you. Grilled burgers and hot dogs usually take center stage, but in this collection you’ll also find appetizers, seafood and chicken entrees, spectacular side dish salads and desserts. For a fresh take on tiramisu checkout this berry tiramisu recipe from Southern Living. Included in this Best Memorial Day Recipes roundup is a crunchy hillbilly cole slaw, macaroni salad, grilled corn and potato salads as well as, a fresh glazed fruit salad. If layering is your preference, a vibrant cornbread salad is sure to fit the bill. I wanted to include a few tips for warm weather picnics, too. Follow these tips for pre-planning when enjoying food outdoors:

  • When planning a buffet-style food bar, coordinate dishes with other cooks so that there will be a variety of entrees, sides and desserts to enjoy and no duplicates.
  • Chill salads that you’ve prepared in advance thoroughly, and pack everything in insulated carriers for travel.
  • Take full advantage of ice filled coolers to keep items cold. Likewise, any baked or warm foods keep in a separate insulated carrier.
  • Salads that feature dressings that are vinegar based tend to fare well in hot weather and syrup glazed fruit salads are always a win.
  • Don’t forget to pack the serving spoons, tongs and utensils to serve once you reach your destination.

1 Easy Veggie Dip

The holiday wouldn’t be complete without a crudite tray and a creamy dip on the table. Get the Easy Veggie Dip Recipe Here.


2 Cowboy Caviar

This popular dip is filled with a variety of vegetables and vibrant colors, too. Make it one or two days in advance then add the cubed avocado just before serving. Get the Cowboy Caviar Recipe Here.


3 Southern Pimento Cheese

Is it pimento cheese or pimiento cheese? The terms (and spelling!) are used interchangeably in the South. Spelling aside, this creamy Southern classic never disappoints. Get the Southern Pimento Cheese Recipe Here.


4 Boiled Peanuts

Whip-up a batch of Southern Boiled Peanuts for snacking while the kids are playing and watch them disappear. Get the Boiled Peanuts Recipe Here.


5 Frito Corn Salad

This Frito Corn Salad is a fun option. Make it per the recipe, then add the fritos just before serving so they’ll stay crunchy. Get the Frito Corn Salad Recipe here.


6 Pear Salad

This retro Pear Salad remains a potluck favorite in the South. This is true mainly because it’s not only tasty but only requires assembling the individual salad with no cooking at all. Get the easy Pear Salad Recipe Here.


7 Zucchini Fritters

These crispy fritters are a way to incorporate vegetables onto the menu in a special way. Serve them with a side of aioli or ranch dressing for dipping. Get the Zucchini Fritters Recipe here.


8 Southern Potato Salad

No cookout would be complete with a bowl of potato salad on the menu. This recipe is a classic that never disappoints. Get the Southern Potato Salad Recipe Here.


9 Watermelon Salad

If sweet and salty combinations are your vibe, you’ll flip for this Watermelon Salad that features cucumbers, tangy red onion and goat cheese. Get the Watermelon Salad Recipe Here.


10 Cornbread Salad

This layered salad is a sight to behold. It’s the perfect edible centerpiece for your table and always gets rave reviews. Get the Cornbread Salad Recipe Here.


11 Hillbilly Cole Slaw

This coleslaw features a sweet and tangy vinegar based dressing that infuses the fresh vegetables with tons of flavor. It’s especially suited for warm weather picnics and gatherings. Get the Hillbilly Cole Slaw Recipe Here.

Hillbilly Cole Slaw Recipe

12 Southern Barbecue Baked Beans

These easy baked beans are seasoned with both bacon and ground beef. Serve them as a side dish or an entree ladled over a piece of butter cornbread. Get the Southern Barbecue Baked Beans Recipe Here.


13 Beer Battered Onion Rings

These crispy golden onion rings can be enjoyed as a starter or a side dish. Serve them simply with ketchup or your favorite dipping sauce. Get the Beer Battered Onion Rings Recipe Here.


14 Hot Dog Chili

When hot dogs are on the menu I like to set-up a toppings bar and let everyone build their own to suit their taste. I can’t imagine doing so without chili as an option. Get the Hot Dog Chili Recipe Here.


15 Bacon Cheeseburgers with Coca Cola Onions

There’s nothing like sinking your teeth into a juicy burger. Whether you opt for frying or grilling these burgers come with a bonus recipe for sweet onions to pile on top. Get the Bacon Cheeseburgers with Coca Cola Onions Recipe here.


16 Special Burger Sauce

This easy sauce can be served with those zucchini fritters, onion rings, french fries, fresh vegetables or yes, drizzled on your grilled burger. Make it a day or two in advance to give the flavors time to fully marry. Get the Special Burger Sauce Recipe Here.

Special Burger Sauce

17 Barbecue Chicken and Potato Foil Packs

Wrap-up the meal in foil combining tender chicken with crisp potatoes smothered with your favorite barbecue sauce and cheese. Get the Barbecue Chicken and Potato Foil Packs Recipe Here.

plated Barbecue Chicken and Potato Foil Packs

18 Shrimp Skewers

If seafood is on your menu, you can make these easy shrimp skewers on the grill or in the oven depending on your time. Serve them as an appetizer or alongside steak for an add-on to your meal. Get the Shrimp Skewers Recipe Here.


19 Salmon Burgers

You can add a seafood option on your burgers menu with these perfectly seasoned salmon burgers. Dress them with your favorite toppings and a slathering of remoulade to seal the deal. Get the Salmon Burger Recipe Here.


20 Homestyle Macaroni Salad

This creamy macaroni salad combines the comfort of creamy macaroni with the crunch of bell peppers and onion with diced tomatoes. It makes the perfect addition to any backyard cookout or bbq party. Get the Homestyle Macaroni Salad Recipe Here.


21 Grilled Chicken Sandwich

Offer a variety of options to your guest and you’ll have a happy crew to feed. These juicy boneless skinless chicken breasts are marinated then grilled until they’re golden and lightly charred. Get the Grilled Chicken Sandwich Recipe Here.


22 Grilled Corn on the Cob

This sweet grilled corn is slathered with a homemade garlic chive butter turning it into an outstanding fresh Summer side dish. Get the Grilled Corn on the Cob Recipe Here.

best ever Grilled Corn on the Cob

23 Grilled Chili Rubbed Skirt Steak

Treat the carnivores to this skirt steak seasoned and grilled until it’s pink on the inside with a charred exterior, Slice it across the grain for the most tender texture. Get the Grilled Chili Rubbed Skirt Steak Recipe Here.


24 Grilled Vegetable Kabobs

Fill metal skewers with corn, bell peppers, zucchini and squash or any of your favorite garden goodness. These kabobs atre brushed with garlic butter then finished with grated Parmesan cheese. Get the Grilled Vegetable Kabobs Recipe Here.


25 Saucy Baby Back Ribs

These baby back ribs are ideal for make ahead preparation. They’re cooked low and slow in the oven then chilled. To reheat, throw them on the grill to bring them back to temperature and brush with barbecue sauce to finish them off. Get the Saucy Baby Back Ribs Recipe Here.


26 Loaded Tater Tots

These crispy tater tots are drizzled with warm queso, ranch dressing and crumbled bacon. They’re spectacular and there are never any leftover. Get the Loaded Tater Tots Recipe Here.

Loaded Tater Tots Recipe with bacon and sour cream

27 Potato Chip Chocolate Chip Cookies

Handheld desserts are a must for a potluck party. These cookies feature that sweet and salt vibe that always satisfies. Get the Potato Chip Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe Here.

stacked Potato Chip Chocolate Chip Cookies

28 Red White and Blue Berry Trifle

This Patriotic Berry Trifle features the glorious colors of red white and blue. The layers of fresh berries, creamy white chocolate pudding, cubed cake and whipped cream will make it the pièce de résistance of your dessert table. Get the Berry Trifle with White Chocolate Cream Recipe Here.


29 Banana Pudding Cupcakes

I first published this cupcake recipe well over 10 years ago. Since then, it’s been knocked off all over the internet. Handheld portable banana pudding, it doesn’t get any better than that! Get the original Banana Pudding Cupcakes Recipe Here.


30 Hawaiian Pineapple Coconut Fluff

This island inspired fluff is creamy and delicious. Make it in advance and give it plenty of time to chill then scoop it into a bowl and enjoy. Get the Hawaiian Pineapple Coconut Fluff Recipe Here.


31 Southern Buttermilk Pie

This custard pie is a vintage classic that has adorned Southern tables for eons. Make it ahead of time and pop it into the fridge or cooler until your ready for dessert. Get the Southern Buttermilk Pie Recipe Here.

Southern Buttermilk Pie

32 Easy Fruit Salad

Combine fresh berries, pineapple, bananas, peaches and grapes for this light and healthy fruit salad recipe. It’s simple to pack and take to another location and you can enjoy it for snacking, too. Get the Easy Fruit Salad Recipe Here.


33 Strawberry Shortcake

This recipe features old fashioned homemade shortcakes for the base. Top them with macerated strawberries and whipped cream for a classic summer dessert. Get the Strawberry Shortcake Recipe Here.


34 Million Dollar Pound Cake

This recipe features a trick for beating air into the dense pound cake batter. It’s made with pantry ingredients and it’s scrumptious to the very last crumb. Get the Million Dollar Pound Cake Recipe Here.


35 Southern Sweet Tea

What kind of gathering would it be if there wasn’t a pitcher (or two!) of sweet tea to wash it all down. Get the tips and pointers for making the best Southern Sweet Tea Recipe Here.


Wishing you all a safe Memorial Day spent with loved ones as we remember the Heroes who gave their all to make the freedom we enjoy in America possible. ~ Melissa

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